Tuesday, June 24, 2014
DIARY OF AN UNWILLING WIDOW
June 24, 2014
Busy day…I ran the Littles over to Mishelle’s, then home for a couple of hours. I dropped David off at Learning RX and spent the next hour and half at Menards with Ben, where he was in self-stimming heaven. He has no idea how hard he makes shopping for me…
Then I ran into Younkers and found a set of sheets for my bed – the first pair Paul has not slept on. I had three sets prior to his death. I folded up and saved the ones that were on the bed the night he died. One set now has a big tear in the fitted sheet and the other set has paint streaks on it. I left David in the van because his allergies were bothering him so much. I came out and wondered out loud why the van was so hot. David told me had turned off the van to save gas. I left him in there so he’d have the AC for his allergies…
I picked up the Littles and then headed over to my friend, Diane’s, so she could tighten up Sam’s glasses (that I found under a blanket on the basement floor yesterday after being missing for several days). While there we discovered her husband is raising rabbits to eat. They look just like Bauer, but are huge. But apparently rabbits grow for a good year. I did not know that. David took some notes on the cages John built because he wants to build something for Bauer this summer. He’d better, especially if that rabbit is going to get as big as John’s are.
I’m trying to put some supper on now. Lizzie is walking around the house sobbing because I’m a big meanie. The other kids jumped in the pool but I told her she had to find her swim cap first. The pool chemicals dry her hair out so badly that detangling it is a painful, painful mess later on. So I bought her a $15 silicone swim cap that she was delighted with when it arrived yesterday – and then she promptly lost it. I’m not her favorite mother at the moment, I don’t think…
It looks like I’ll be getting new siding and a couple of new upstairs windows in October. A contractor from church came over last night and gave me a bid. His was the cheapest, so I was happy to give the job to him. It will be really nice to have that done.
I am sitting here hiccuping really loudly. I can’t remember the last time I had the hiccups this bad. They’re so deep that they are hurting my chest. I am reminded of a time that I got them in my sleep. I woke up to Paul holding a pillow over my face, threatening to suffocate me. Even though I had just been awakened out of a sound sleep, I still remember how that made me laugh – which made me hiccup all the louder!
I got my Pleasantville paper last week, which is a story in and of itself. If I had the time, I would love to march down to that office and take over the writing. I have never seen a publication so poorly written in my life with its pages and pages of fragmented sentences and horrible, first-grade grammar, capitalization, and punctuation mistakes. I only ordered a subscription a year ago in January because they do “senior spotlights” for each of the graduating seniors and I wanted to see Will’s when it came out. It was supposed to expire this Jan. and then I figured I’d renew it when Ben is a senior. Finally, in March or April I received a notice stating that my subscription was up. I intended to let it lapse, but I’m still getting this paper every week! I’m guessing their bookkeeping dept. is run by the same person who does the writing.
So anyway, they had a story on the kindergarten graduation at the school. I skimmed through the names because I’m always curious as to what people are naming their children these days. Names fascinate me – always have. One little boy was named Jesse, which is a name I absolutely love. If I had had a few more boys, I’d probably have ended up with a “Jesse” myself, before too long. But this little Jesse will probably always wish his name was Kaden or Kyle or LeRoy or something…since his last name is “James.” Seriously? Who DOES that to their child?!
And that’s good because I haven’t been doing a whole lot of laughing lately. I have really been struggling the past couple of weeks with grief and I have found myself surprised by that. The morning of the 7th I woke up with such a feeling of relief and I felt pretty good for the next few days. I had survived a whole year, which felt like a real accomplishment. And then I crashed.
I have just been so sad for days and days now. I don’t know if I’m just coming down off the high of surviving the first year or if reality is striking that I still have to keep doing this. I have heard numerous widows state that the second and third year are often more difficult than the first. That blessed early numbness is totally gone and others have, more or less, gone back to their own lives, while the widow is left, bewildered, at the mess hers is in.
Yesterday I had my annual appt. with the neurologist. He checks me over once a year to make sure I’m not in any imminent danger of re-stroking and tries to see if my left side has come back yet (it hasn’t- probably won’t after all this time). Since my last appt. was more than a year ago he didn’t know yet of Paul’s death. So, we were talking and he made the comment about Paul’s death that, “Well, it’s been quite a long while then.” I looked at him and said, “Not to me, it hasn’t.”
But it has. It’s been an entire year – 54 weeks now, actually. Every holiday, every season has passed one time. And they will keep right on passing, even though much of my own life seems to be at a standstill.
I miss his smile. I had that thought the other day. Paul had an ornery streak a mild wide. Between that and his sometime gruffness, it was a miracle when I could actually get him to smile for the camera. But there were other times he smiled, even when I didn’t have the camera out. Those times when he saw me and his face would light up…I’ll never forget those moments.
I like to think that that smile is one of the first things I’ll see when I cross that silvery divide someday. The thought of that makes me smile now.